TSM Episode 2: Uberfree

Pyro: a synonym for awesome.

Produced 2011.06.26

Deimosion wonders why catching them all was–and is–so succesful, Slab Bulkhead is a trending topic, and Caspius is ubercharged! Also, EVE Online, Star Wars Galaxies, and City of Heroes round out an uncharacteristically MMO-centred news selection.


  1. So I finally got around to reconfiguring my router and can get server listings/join games and played some TF2. After playing the Shovel/Shotgun/Bazooka guy tutorial I really didn’t like the game. At all. Having played some real multiplayer though it is pretty fun.

    I noticed not a single hat though which was kind of disappointing.

  2. These things take time, EP! I didn’t get any hats for months upon starting TF2. They’re a lot rarer than items, even the bad ones.

  3. @EP: Hats are rare. They are not going to drop in massive quantitites. The drop of a hat on the L.com server is occasion for many congratulations. Such things are quite uncommon.

    Keep in mind, also, that FREE players will *not* get hats as drops.

    That said, there are ‘starter packs’ available for every class, priced at an EXTREMELY reasonable 99¢, which come with several basic weapons and a hat. Also, purchasing one of these will move one to the ‘paid’ category of TF2 player.

  4. I really hope that if you do end up reviewing Ephemeral Fantasia, you use the phrase “We’ve entered an endless recursion in time.”

    Pay-to-play structures will cripple the game industry if they start to expand outside of the MMO market.

  5. @Dan Emperor Kotick would have all games he controls be pay-to-play!

    In all seriousness I think a pay-to-play structure outside of the MMO market is not only viable, it’s on the horizon. If you think about it, hundreds of thousands of people in the US alone already pay monthly to play games online with their friends via XBox Live. People are willing to pay the money. If they are willing to pay the money, companies will charge them.

  6. I actually agree with Dan’s assessment about pay-to-play being what cripples the industry.

    Yes, people will pay for it. And yes, it will destroy the industry when it becomes widespread.

    Think about the ramifications of it and what it will do to consumers. How many pay-to-play services do you think the average person is going to be signed up for at once?

  7. @Slab Bulkead: I don’t doubt that many companies are going to try it for a variety of games, but I don’t think it’s going to end well. As Lusi suggests, if this goes far enough, you’re only going to be able to play a couple games at once, meaning people will buy even fewer games than they already do. Especially in the current economy where a lot of people don’t have big chunks of discretionary spending to begin with.

    @Deimosion:Iwarendemo wakatteru.

  8. so lusi, do you prefer comments in typeset or moorse code? thought you’d enjoy my replies to episode 1

  9. @Drach: I cannot read morse code! I assumed it was just a bunch of weeaboo bullshit anyway. I bet it was about the latest episode of Mana Kimi Haruhi Kawaii EXCEL SAGA neoPLUS, wasn’t it?

    @Dan/Deimosion: Stop that.

  10. @DanChiSao Sadly, E8 has one of Itsuki’s best moments. “I RAV YOO!”

  11. @DanChiSao I agree completely that it will go horribly when companies realize that people can’t really afford to pay to play every game they own. I think it could easily lead many companies into bankruptcy. That said, MMORPGs are pretty much the only game where I am even remotely willing to embrace a pay-to-play model, and any company that bankrupts itself through idiotic payment policies, in my opinion, deserves to go down.

  12. @Deimosion Yeah, that was awesome. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing every time I heard it.

    @Slab I can’t really think of any other genre where the pay-to-play system is really that viable for the long term. There might be some short term viability for some sort of MMOFPS system, but with so many free-to-play options, they’ll have to do something amazing to keep subscribers more than a few months.

  13. I have done more maths than you today! Look at all my maths have produced! WORSHIP MY MATHS!!!1!

    Ok, now that I got that out of my system, I just wanted to throw in a quick clarification about the Eve stuff (from what little I understand, anyway. I’ve only been playing the game for about a month). As absurd as the whole monocle thing is, I think the major worry is that CCP will introduce other, non-cosmetic changes to the cashshop (minor clarification again, it’s more an in-game-items-you-can-buy-for-cashshop. Like if Valve set up a TF2 store where you purchased things with keys). As with TF2, I’ve always been of the opinion that if somebody wants to spend crazy amounts of money on cosmetic items, more power too them. There were, however, some internal memos that hinted that CCP was planning on adding useful ingame items like ships and such to the shop as well. As far as I could tell, there weren’t any shop-exclusive items, but it would allow somebody to shortcut months of work building up to a massive Capital ship or something of the like.

    While I don’t really feel strongly about it one way or another personally, I can certainly understand the frustration, especially among the heavy PVP players. One way the game ISN’T like TF2 is that (like any RPG), having better gear DOES give you a significant advantage. In the worst case, it seems like this system would force PVP players to pay money into the cashshop in addition to the monthly fee (I think somebody said Eve is FTP on the podcast, and it’s not. It’s got a standard subscription model, you can just purchase gametimes months with in-game items if you spend enough time on it) in order to avoid getting steamrolled by people who would pay for the better items from the shop. Again, not something that concerns me really (I’m more a PVE or mining/processing/trading guy), but I can understand some of the ire the concept has been getting.

    On the plus side, though, at least I found out how to turn off the CPU-destroying Captain’s Quarters interface. Now, if I bought the monocle, even I wouldn’t be able to see it.

  14. “Now, if I bought the monocle, even I wouldn’t be able to see it.”

    I LOLed hard at that.

    Also, re. Pepsi: Nooooo.

  15. If Lane were still here he would never countenance Valve’s unconscionable actions! Long as a society have we sought to diminish the gap between those with a dollar, and those without a dollar. In a single fell swoop Valve has seen fit to undo that! Those without a dollar were not prevented by Valve from enjoying Portal. Yet those without a dollar must now face a world where Valve denies them even a hat to collect alms in! The hopes that they may one day be counted among those who have a dollar lay dashed against rocky shoals.

  16. It’s the other way round, actually. Lane argued that people should be able to use money to get themselves ahead of people in-game. After all, money is acquired through real world effort just as items in the game are acquired through real-world effort. Money is, therefore, just a token of effort, and should be interchangeable.

    Except that logic is terribly flawed. They are efforts in different directions. My effort at writing doesn’t convert directly into skill at American Football. I don’t get to ‘convert’ my effort in one into rewards for the other, even if I get paid for the former. It would be unfair to the other players on the team if I were able to buy my way in; and not only unfair, it would be detrimental to the game. The quality would diminish rapidly.

  17. Not to mention the fact that some people in the world are able to acquire great sums of money with minimal effort.

  18. I must say, Dan is a natural with this new podcast format. My favorite moment was when Dan said “What the *bleep*?!” I didn’t think I’d like the censoring, but that was hilarious.

  19. I guess that means Caspius that you consider your own site you consider weeaboo bullshit since i was promoting your donation page. does that make you lord weeaboo bullshit lusi?

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